Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com | 41 The granddaddy of them all is the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017. "The rodeo is a free tournament for all participating anglers and it is the official tournament for the state of Mississippi," says Richard Valdez, the president of the non-profit board that hosts the annual event. "It's a way for us to give back to the fishermen all over our coastal area, in partnership with the city of Gulfport and Harrison County. We have 28 different categories with daily prizes and a special kids' tournament on Saturday. It really is a family affair. We have a midway with arts and crafts, carnival rides, raffles and food vendors. It's a big festival over the 4th of July holiday weekend, not just a fishing tournament." The region's guides and charter boats promote participation and entries can be brought in by boat or automobile. Valdez says more than 15,000 attended the rodeo's festivities last year. Eligible targets include coastal game fish as well as popular freshwater species like largemouth bass (green trout) and bream. Big-game anglers from throughout the Gulf descend on Biloxi every June to compete for more than $1 million in overall prize money. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic features weight and release divisions for billfish, plus weight divisions for tuna, wahoo and dolphin. Over the course of its 21-year history, the event has set numerous records including the largest blue marlin ever landed in the Gulf (1,054.6 lbs. in 2002) and state records for yellowfin tuna (205.8), bluefin tuna (837.1) and bigeye tuna (203.9). "The Classic is considered one of the premier big-game tournaments in the world," says Director Bobby Carter. "This kicks off our 21st season, and we're known for our phenomenal offshore bite, record-breaking fish, millions in cash payouts, an exciting atmosphere and high energy entertainment at the host Golden Nugget Casino. We're expecting another huge turnout in 2017 since we added a swordfish category to the mix." TOURNAMENT GUIDE From blue marlin to speckled trout, Mississippi has hot options for competitive anglers. Have fun, win big and do good all at the same time. BY CAPT. DAVE LEAR T he 70-mile stretch of Gulf Coast that belongs to Mississippi is bountiful, to say the least. Visitors to the region can find plenty of cash and prizes, and we're not even counting time spent at the casinos. We're talking about world-class fishing tournaments— and die-hard tourney anglers have a number of events to fill their calendar throughout the year. Popular Mississippi tournaments like the Carl Legett Memorial attract light-tackle and offshore enthusiasts alike. MISSISSIPPI SALTWATER

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